One of Cambridgeshire's oddest traditions gets under way this morning...
Pensioner sentenced for sexually abusing 4 year old
An 80 year old man who sexually abused a young girl in Watford in the 1980s has escaped having to go to jail.
David Watson, from Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex, admitted assaulting the girl three times when she was aged between just 4 and 6.
Prosecutor Sarah Porter told St Albans Crown Court that in 2006 the victim, who is now in her 30s, told her family. They confronted the former Rolls Royce worker who admitted what he had done.
But, said Ms Porter, it was not until September 2010 that she contacted the police and he was arrested.
Watson of Woodside, Walton-on-the-Naze, appeared for sentence on Monday 9 May 2011 having pleaded guilty to three charges of indecent assault on the girl at an earlier hearing. He had no previous convictions.
Mark Kimsey, defending, said Watson apologised, but did not expect forgiveness. He said he had been involved in "three isolated incidents."
Judge Andrew Bright told Watson: "What a guilty secret you had for 25 to 30 years. The victim has been left scarred for life. "
The judge said the offences crossed the "custody threshold" by a very long way but told him: "If I lock you up it is likely you would not get the treatment you need."
He passed a 12 month jail sentence suspended for 2 years and ordered that Watson attends a Sex Offender Work Programme. He will be supervised by a probation officer for 24 months and register as a Sex Offender for 10 years. The judge also banned him from having unsupervised contact with anyone under 16.
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